On air: Do gun controls work?
Yesterday, taxi driver Derrick Bird went on a shooting spree in Cumbria, in the north of England, which left 12 people dead. After three hours of driving through towns and villages, shooting from his car, he shot himself.
Many of you are talking about whether the current UK gun laws work. The UK has one of the tightest gun control laws in the world, requiring everybody who wishes to possess a firearm to go through a procedure including medical checks, full criminal history and a police interview to prove they actually need a gun.
Benjamin Barton blogs
"The United Kingdom does however need tougher gun control laws. How does a taxi driver acquire two shotguns and why would he need them? When a tragedy like this occurs, for me personally, however tight gun control laws in the United Kingdom may be, they evidently aren't tight enough for things like this not to happen."
UK gun laws have changed over the past two decades, most notably after the Hungerford massacre and Dunblane. This type of incident has been seen worldwide, in countries with varying levels of gun control. These include Columbine and the Washington Sniper in the USA, Finland, and earlier this week, China.
However, WalaaIdris tweets:
"Every time someone goes on a killing spree we get calls for more gun control, as if that is going to stop nutters going nuts!"
And alicehb also tweeted:
"Has drug control every stopped anyone from getting drugs? Then why will gun control prevent criminals from getting guns?"
Some people are blaming the gun laws in the UK for the massacre.
Blogger Michael Hoffman in the US writes:
"UK's draconian gun control contributes to this massacre. If there had been an armed public citizenry, as there had been in Britain up until the 20th century, your ancient heritage of "hue-and-cry" pursuit by the common people might have led to an armed local person shooting this mass murderer before he killed too many more."
And andrewlomas tweets
"Waiting for predictable backlash against gun ownership despite the correlation between gun control and gun crime being next to non-existent"
Are tighter gun controls the way to prevent this type of massacre? Or does not allowing citizens access to firearms prevent them from defending themselves in this kind of situation?